The Vice Principle

Isn’t that a great title?

It’s actually available, not that you couldn’t use a title that’s out there (sort of ~ you probably wouldn’t want to reuse The Maltese Falcon unless you were doing something funny like The Mall Tease Falcon, which, surprisingly, is also available).

Whenever I see/hear the “vice-principal” or the “vice-president” I automagically put the emphasis on the first syllable because I’m just wired that way, wired to be weird, I guess. Although I prefer to think of it as wired to be hilarious. YMMV.

Maybe that’s why Breaking Bad really kicked in for me with the introduction of Saul Goodman, the guy to call when you need a criminal lawyer. Loved that so much.

But they’re entirely different things, vice and vice.🙂

I don’t know how anyone learns English. How is it possible for someone to learn it as an adult? I can’t even. It’s such a disorganized, horrible mishmash. Where would you even begin? Why do I speak such a messy language, argh?!?

No wonder there are so many misunderstandings.

According to the dico, vice means moral depravity or corruption; a moral fault or failing; or a habitually and usually trivial defect or shortcoming. So, it’s anything from kidnapping children into a sex slavery ring to popping your gum all day at the office cube farm.

Clearly we don’t need the word “vice” for any of the things along the spectrum from trivial to hideous because we have much more specific words for all of them. Vice is useless as a noun and should be used only as a preposition or prefix.

However! The Vice Principle is still a great title and I give it to you because I’m all bogged down in otter things right now. Plus it sounds like it’d be a title for either a detective story (or a story in a series of detective stories) or some sort of self-help woo book, and neither of those would be the sort of book I’d write.

I almost wrote a mystery/suspense novel once, but it didn’t work out. And when I say almost wrote, I mean I wrote about 50 pages, which is what my friend AH once said we all can do. What really separates the writers from the wannabes is what happens after 50 pages.

I’m not a mystery writer.


Via The Daily Prompt: Vice

I Wuz Framed!

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012 (or thereabouts), Murder Mystery Dinner in Garden Grove at a private home. This wasn’t a professional production, so we didn’t have the super-funny actors as we did at the 2015 MMD, but instead we played all the parts ourselves. Very fun. And, as I recall, the same friend won best something or other at both MMDs. Go Judene! (Sorry I can’t remember the prize titles.)

I used this photo for the “frame” prompt because I’m framed by the chair and also it gave me the chance to yell “I wuz framed!” as a gangster, presumably arrested for something I didn’t do after the dinner. They set me up! Isn’t that always the way?


Via The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

My Little Soul Dude



This is Gatsby when I first snuggled him at the Orange County Animal Shelter back in December 2011. He was 6 months old.

Isn’t it obvious we were meant for each other?❤


Via The Daily Prompt: Obvious

Miniature Quest

I’m not feeling very creative lately, so when the new prompt appears I look for something I wrote previously. First I check poasts here, then current poetry on my laptop, and when all else fails, I scour the archives. Apparently I don’t use the word “miniature” very often. Something did come up though, from the private blog I kept during my mother’s illness.

I pulled up the entire document and began reading. Even though I’ve read it before, it’s been a while, and I always find something new. What totally surprised me today is that not only was I continuing to go to the gym I belonged to while my mom was dying, but I was also taking a yoga class there. I have absolutely no memory of this. Whenever I talk about yoga, I always say the last time I did any was when I was in my 20s and working for Avery in Pasadena. (I’ve just begun doing a yoga DVD this week however.) I’m trying to recall anything about that yoga class in 2007-2008… and I simply cannot. Nothing. Blank.

According to my private blog, on Sunday, April 6, 2008, the hospice nurse told me that my mom was ready to go, probably that day (it would be one week later). This is what I wrote, minus the first few sentences about my father’s checking account and such:

She was talking, sort of. I think she knew I was there. She said different things, most of which were unintelligible, and the words I could understand didn’t make much sense. They increased her morphine to 30 mg per hour with unlimited boosts, so whenever she appears the least bit uncomfy, the nurse can push the button. Just two weeks ago she was at 3.0 max per hour.

Nurse said she was doing pretty well for a pancreatic cancer patient as far as pain relief. I don’t want to think about that, about people screaming for days.

I’m going back over there at 8:00. The girls want to come, too. I didn’t encourage it, but I’m not saying no either. What if nothing happens? Then again, how can this go on?

She looks so awful. Now I finally understand a little about the “innocence” thing I always deride. I want to protect my children from seeing that. It’s irrational, but there it is anyway. I’m not going to do it though. They want to be there, and one of them is almost an adult.

Someone over there has one of those exotic cats. I saw it in the window as I walked back to my car this afternoon. Fucking coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Like a miniature leopard. Why am I thinking about that?

It’s hard to really accept she’s gone. That she’ll never criticize me again. Bizarre.

Her voice is still right there in my head.

I hardly ever think about how much she criticized me anymore. I just miss her. She had so many good qualities; so what if she nagged me to wear lipstick. Why did that bother me so much? I’ve never been insecure. It was just annoying at the time. Mostly it was annoying because she’d interrupt while I was saying something else to remind me about the lipstick, and I knew she hadn’t been focusing on my conversation. But I don’t care about any of that now. I just wish she’d been around longer.

Nowadays I don’t put a comma in front of too because DR said to stop.

So, the miniature leopard kitties. They’re gorgeous. All designer cats are. Wouldn’t it be great to have $2,000+ to spend on an exotic mini-tiger who could grace your home with its lithe jungle beauty, but would be tame and cuddly and sweet and wouldn’t eat you?


If you want a feline to love, go to your local shelter and adopt an adorable moggie who desperately needs a home… before it gets euthanized. Don’t support cat breeding!


Via The Daily Prompt: Miniature

The Trouble with Tom

Jones, that is. Delilah, Help Yourself, She’s a Lady, What’s New Pussycat? It’s Not Unusual. Etc.

So, I have re-uploaded all my music to my iTunes folder, since I apparently didn’t save it correctly on my backup drive last year when my old laptop died. It was important to get this done before my CDs began dying, since some are irreplaceable. About 5000 songs have been ripped, or whatever the term is ~ some are duplicates because many of my CD’s are themed, and themes overlap. Songs from commercial CDs and CDs that were properly formatted are in the folder with their names intact, but the majority have to be labeled by hand. This takes a while and is more boring than a boring boring thing. Which makes it take longer. Anything becomes more interesting than labeling yet another unlabeled pile of songs. Vacuuming the sofa! Yes!

ANYWAY. I am up to the letter G, in my iTunes albums. (Told you this was going slowly, plus some need album art added and I have to grab a relevant pic off Google images, and it has to be square, exactly, or made square in Paint, yada.) Physically, in my hands, I have the following:

  1. Tom Jones Gold ~ Greatest Hits ~ 1 disc, 23 songs
  2. The Great Tom Jones ~ 3 disc set, 18 songs on each disc

With me so far? Good. All 4 discs were uploaded to iTunes. But iTunes says I have the following:

  1. The Great Tom Jones, disc 1 (the same 18 songs as from The Great, disc 1)
  2. Tom Jones, disc 3 (the same 18 songs as from The Great, disc 3)
  3. Tom Jones Reloaded Greatest Hits, disc 1 (the same 23 songs as Gold)
  4. Tom Jones Reloaded Greatest Hits, disc 2 (the same 18 songs as The Great, disc 2)

When I go to Amazon I find that what I currently own is now unavailable altogether. They are both imports ~ Gold from Canada and The Great from the UK. These were my mother’s and idk how she got them, maybe ordered off the TV? Anyway, the dilemma is should I label them in iTunes how I own them or how they currently exist?

It is sort of an existential dilemma. Now that the songs are on my computer and will be stored on a backup drive or in the cloud (or both), they exist in their pure essence of bits and bytes. Should that essence be labeled as it relates to what I hold in my hand because I used those discs to upload the songs originally; or should the label name be in sync with how iTunes (or whatever other program) recognizes that essence now if I don’t manually change the album name on each song? Obviously I will have to double up on number 4 and make it disc 2 of The Great TJ as well as disc 2 of Reloaded TJ, if I go with this last option, else it would look like The Great has a missing disc.

Logically I think the second choice is correct, but emotionally I want go with the first one. What do you think?



Odd Ducks

I live in an apartment building with an interesting architectural design, like a Spanish mission, with a large central courtyard. In the courtyard is a swimming pool, which, I assume, would have been used by the padres and visiting dignitaries and such, back in the olden days. It’s rare that I see anyone in the pool, and I have never used it myself. But last summer we did have a couple guests, who stayed for about a week or so.



Via The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Rare

Moon Times Two


My dreams come alive in darkness, jingling with the music of the spheres. A rainbow rushes through the night sky, dives off a cliff, and spreads out on moonlit sand. My thoughts swirl and whirl like a crystal kaleidoscope; they float and drift like a party of balloons. They’re hard kisses and slow whispers. A rumbled voice and a taste of whisky. Dream selves run to the water’s edge, letting the foam tickle their feet until the sun’s eye opens. Violet to pink to blue. Wisps of clouds linger like cotton candy.

The dreams dissolve like sugar in the ocean.


At Your Door

The miles between us
Melted as the sun rose
Then set yet again.
The hum of empty roads
Soothed me.
A soft blanket of dark
The steady moon.
But my wild heart leapt
As I stood dressed to spec
White lace like a bride
A blindfold slipped o’er eyes.
Silk-gloved hand poised
At your door.


These pomes can be found in my book Going Dark, which you should buy, if you haven’t already. If you have, you are awesome, and I thank you.🙂


Via The Daily Prompt: Moon




In the middle
Of your complicated life
Full of bills and pills
And the external drive
To make noisy music
That I hate so much–
Because who can hear a fly
When someone’s screaming
C’mon c’mon TOUCH
Me babe?
Anyway, look…
Somewhere in between
The box of tissues
And the coloring book
Full of swear words
(Lady, you got issues)
I find a spot
To plop
My furry purry self down
And take a nap.
Life doesn’t have to be
More complicated
Than that.


Via The Daily Prompt: Complicated

Another Reach into the Archives

Bouquet. [50]

She ran, laughing, plucking flowers at random until her arms overflowed. This one, she cried! And this one and this. Each time she had found the most glorious blossom ever, another flower even more vibrant beckoned. Soon, reaching for the next would mean dropping them all. I watched, and waited.


The above is a “drabble,” which is what some of us termed the 50-word or 100-word flash fiction stories we posted on a site way back when. To my surprise, I have them all saved in a word document. I’m generally a thrower-outer, but I do have quite a bit of stuff archived from old blogs and such, though not the CC&S blog, unforch, as I also discovered today when I looked for my cupcake-cake poast, trying to find that chai recipe I think I used. It’s gone forever, sob! And you would think I could find another online, using a box mix plus a few tbsps of chai mix, without having to add 72 otter things, but you’d be wrong.

Of course my loyal readers remember my giant cupcake-cake adventure, right? Of course right. I’m sure I have the photos saved in my photo archive on the external whatsit. I had to get rid of the pan in the great purge of 2010 because geometry (circles take up a lot more room in cabinets than rectangles).

Also, to my surprise, the links embedded in the drabble titles will take you to a vicious site that hijacks your browser and gives you one of those awful messages that your ‘puter is infected and you have to call some number to pay ransom. Luckily, I know how to deal with that, in all my techy wisdom. So, if YOU have drabbles saved, be warned. (Link hosed before poasting.)

Note how I used to obsessively put periods after titles. No idea how I got into that bizarre habit, but thank goodness I’m over it.

If this teensy drabble leaves you hungry for another write of mine using the prompt, you can always click to the next tab and re-read Angel. I am assuming you’ve read it, since it’s been there FOR A WHILE.😀


Via The Daily Prompt: Reach

Devilish Fun

Devil 2015

Last Halloween a bunch of friends and I went to a murder mystery dinner and it was SUPER FUN! I came up with my own costume idea, from a song, and if you don’t get it you’re too young, so pffft. Unfortunately you can’t see my shoes in this pic, but trust me they are awesome… red glittery things, sort of like what Dorothy might have worn in Oz. I created my crazy Christmas elf costume around them too. Even though I have no plans yet, I want to design my own Halloween costume again this year, not buy one pre-made (boring!), and I might brainstorm ideas with peeps next week at a crafts meetup because my motto is…

It’s Never Too Soon To Start Thinking About Halloween!


Via The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun!